No matter how many times you’ve been to Disney, there is always something new to experience, or something you’ll want to revisit time and time again. Besides Space Mountain and meeting Mickey Mouse, there are several things you can do at Disney that not everyone is aware of, and whether you’re a seasoned Disney veteran or a new adventurer, these are some things that every Disney fanatic should have on their bucket list:
20.) Take a tour of the Magic Kingdom
While most Disney fanatics know their way in and out of the park, many will tell you that it’s worth it to take a park tour. The tour guides who take you around the park know more about the Magic Kingdom than you would believe; not only do they know exactly how to immerse you in the magic, but they also know cool facts about the park and Walt Disney’s life that you never would have guessed, like the fact that Main Street Bakery actually uses fans to blow the smell of their baked goods into the street. Some of the tours offered are Disney’s Family Magic Tour and Disney’s Keys to the Kingdom tour. You’ll need to call ahead for reservations, as space is limited on these small and intimate tours.
19.) Embrace the Frozen Fever and Meet Anna and Elsa
With the highest wait time of all the attractions and characters in Disney currently, meeting Anna and Elsa should be on every Disney Fanatic’s wish list. Not only is it a great experience since the princesses are super sweet and enthusiastic, but it’s also something that you’ll want to say you’ve done. As one of the most popular Disney movies to date, there is sure to be someone in your friend or family circle that would be over the moon about seeing these two princesses. Remember though, the wait times to see Anna and Elsa are incredibly high, so if you can fastpass this experience, it would be much easier on you!
18.) See the Atlanta Braves Spring Training Session at Disney’s Wide World of Sports
Disney is home to its very own sport’s complex owned in partnership with ESPN; and believe it or not, the Atlanta Braves have a training session there every spring that is open to the public (with a valid ticket, of course). Whether you’re a baseball fan or you just like to eat hot dogs, this is a definite must-do for any Disney fanatic’s bucket list. There’s just something about sitting in the stadium right on Disney property, eating treats and spending time with your loved ones that makes the baseball game seem extraordinary. Mickey Mouse may even make an appearance that really solidifies the magic of the experience.
17.) Stay at Disney’s Art of Animation Hotel in one of the most Disneyfied rooms ever!
Meant for folks of all ages, Disney’s Art of Animation Hotel is one of the newest hotels to welcome guests for their stay on Disney property! Inspired by some of the world’s favorite animated movies, this hotel is full of charm and immersive experiences that exude Disney delight. With family suites and rooms featuring the Little Mermaid, the Lion King, Finding Nemo, and Cars, this hotel is full of magic that a Disney fanatic will never tire of. This hotel also features the largest pool on Disney property, as well as 5 different food shops, so you’ll never run out of options!
16.) Hang 10, and get some surfing lessons at Typhoon Lagoon!
Walt Disney World is home to two very distinct waterparks, Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach. At Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon, you can actually sign up to receive surfing lessons in the water park! You’ll practice standing on a board in the sand before moving to learning how to surf in the park’s massive wave pool. Classes are extremely limited, however, so it’s best to call well ahead of time to ensure you can get a spot!
15.) Ride the Seven Dwarves Mine Train in the Magic Kingdom
As the newest roller-coaster in the Magic Kingdom, this ride is a MUST for everyone’s bucket list. In the heart of Fantasyland, this fun coaster is perfect for kids who meet the height requirement all the way up to adults. The coaster is full of fairytale magic, while taking a ride with thrilling turns and steep curves. It’s bright, beautiful, and brand-new; this means the lines are INCREDIBLY long, so if you get the opportunity to fastpass this ride, DO IT. If you don’t get the opportunity to fast pass this ride, however, I’d recommend either getting in line as soon as the park opens, or at night after most of the crowds have left.
14.) Attend Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
A beautiful sight to see, the Magic Kingdom comes alive with Christmas cheer during this event. For select nights, usually between November and early January, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party turns the Magic Kingdom into a celebration full of Holiday cheer. The Magic Kingdom closes early for normal ticketholders before turning into a Christmas celebration that lasts well into the night. Featuring parades, characters dressed up for Christmas, and lots of hot chocolate, this party is one that any Disney fanatic would need to attend. As a special treat for the party goers, you’ll get to see snow in Orlando!
13.) Take a hike on the Wild Africa Trek tour at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
This is not your average tour, nor is it for the faint of heart. An intensive 3-hour trek around the Safi River Valley, this tour immerses you in the beauty and life of the African animals who live in the Animal Kingdom. From walking on a rope bridge above crocodiles and hippos to riding in a rugged safari vehicle while looking at giraffes, this tour is an immersive experience that any Disney fan will want to cross off of their bucket list. Access is limited, though, because of how intimate the tour groups are, so make your reservations early!
12.) Take the little princess in your family to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique
With 2 locations in Walt Disney World, the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is the place where any little girl’s dream can come true. These boutiques feature full princess makeovers with glitter, tiaras, and of course, princess dresses. Whether it’s your daughter, sister, second-cousin, or godchild, this boutique will make any girl’s Disney experience so much more magical. Located in the Magic Kingdom and Disney Springs, these two boutiques require reservations, so make sure to plan this surprise today!
11.) Get a little trim at the Harmony Barber Shop on Main Street, U.S.A.!
A must do for everyone who visits Disney, you can actually get a haircut while being serenaded by The Dapper Dans, Main Street’s local barbershop quartet. They even feature special packages for little ones getting their first haircut that includes Mickey ears. Using “pixie dust”, big red scissors, bubbles, and Mickey Mouse stickers, both you and your little ones can feel the charm and magic, even while getting a simple haircut!
10.) Experience the blooming Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival
Falling between March and May, the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is in full bloom. Jam packed with educational experiences and tips for growing your own gardens, the festival also features some absolutely beautiful topiaries grown and crafted into various Disney characters by a special team at Epcot. There is something at this festival for everyone, from play areas for the kiddos to a live concert series for the adults. This is a must do for a true Disney fanatic.
9.) See the unforgettable La Nouba by Cirque De Soleil
On the West Side of the newly dubbed Disney Springs, you and your family and friends can see an extraordinary show like you’ve never witnessed before. Literally translating to “the party”, La Nouba is a spectacle featuring an international cast where performers mesmerize the audience with singing, trapeze acts, stunts, and even more! Full of colorful costumes, sets, and lights, this show is an experience that people of all ages can see and delight in. This show is unforgettable, and should be on your bucket list!
8.) Savor delicacies at the Be Our Guest Restaurant in the Magic Kingdom
One of the Magic Kingdom’s newest dining experiences is the Be Our Guest restaurant, where you can dine in the Beast’s castle in Fantasyland. Featuring rooms and dishes inspired by the Disney classic Beauty and the Beast, this new restaurant features delicious French cuisine and an enchanting atmosphere that makes you feel immersed in the classic tale as old as time. With beautiful rose mosaics, warm fires roaring in a fireplace, and elegant chandeliers, the Be Our Guest restaurant is absolutely breathtaking. As one of the newest and most sought after dining experiences in Walt Disney World, you must have a reservation to eat dinner there. You can also go for lunch and breakfast and wait in line, but be prepared for a long but well worth it wait!
7.) Relax and indulge in the splendor of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
For many, Disney’s Grand Floridian is considered to be the most lavish and luxurious resort on Disney property. Full of beautiful chandeliers and Victorian-style architecture, this hotel is a gem in the middle of Disney property. Featuring multiple locations to dine, including the world-class Victoria & Alberts, a phenomenal spa called Senses, and a beach pool (yep, it’s both), this resort is one that every Disney fanatic should visit!
6.) Sample your way around the world at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival
As the tastiest celebration at Walt Disney World, this an absolute must for any Disney-goer. With different events going on all around Epcot, there are limitless things you can do during this tasty festival. You can sample food & wine pairings, see demonstrations on how to make delectable dinners, and even enjoy concerts while you eat. There are different stands in each area of the park, and each area offers different types of food to sample. So be prepared for some fresh sushi in Japan, delicious cheeses in France, and even more around the world! This festival runs every fall, and you DON’T have to buy a separate ticket to attend the event; just as long as you have a valid pass into Epcot, you can enjoy the festival!
5.) Float up in the sky through Characters in Flight in Disney Springs
Few people know that the giant balloon in the West Side of Disney Springs is actually something that guests can take a ride in! In the hand-painted helium balloon covered with Disney characters, you can fly up to 10 miles high into the beautiful Orlando sky and get a lovely up-close view above Disney Springs, as well as the other numerous resorts and parks in the distance. The ride lasts for a solid 8-10 minutes, and it does cost a fee of $18 per child and $20 per adult. People of all ages can take part in this stunning experience, including little ones!
4.) Take the Backstage Tales Tour in Animal Kingdom
In the midst of the park, you can actually take a tour of the facilities where the creatures of the Animal Kingdom live and see how they’re cared for. In a very private tour, you and a select few will walk through the animal housing areas, the Animal Nutrition Center, the veterinary hospital, and the Animal Programs Administration building. If you or anyone in your family is an animal lover, this is one of the coolest tours you can possibly go on. You get to see some of the animals up close and personal, and see how well-cared for the animals are; in fact, a portion of the fee you pay to take the tour is donated to the Disney Conservation Fund, which means that you will be helping to preserve our wildlife. This tour is an amazing experience, and it’s a must for anyone who visits Walt Disney World.
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3.) Embrace your bad side and dine at Club Villain at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Who wouldn’t want to spend the evening with the sinister Dr. Facilier from the Princess and the Frog and some of the most famous Disney evil-divas such as Maleficent? This private event is one that you won’t want to miss. It recently opened on January 16th, and it’s already one of the best dining experiences at Walt Disney World. Featuring decadent New Orleans delicacies on the menu, spectacular specialty cocktails, and a show full of our favorite Disney villains, this event is a MUST for every Disney fanatic. This event does require a separate ticket in addition to the one for Hollywood Studios; however, it is well worth it to savor the delicious cuisine and see Cruella dancing the night away.
2.) Dine with an actual imagineer in Disney’s Hollywood Studios
As a Disney Fanatic, who wouldn’t want to dine with an actual imagineer and have the opportunity to discuss everything Disney? Well, you can actually live this dream in Disney’s Hollywood Studios in the Brown Derby’s private Bamboo Room, where you and 9 others will be eating lunch with someone who makes Disney magic come to life. Featuring an exquisite four course meal and an elegant atmosphere, this opportunity should be on every Disney fanatic’s bucket list. This is one of the most difficult dining experiences to get reservations for, since it is limited to 10 guests per lunch, so you’ll need to reserve your spot as far in advance as you can.
1.) Watch the Celebrate the Magic fireworks show in the Magic Kingdom
This is one event that Disney Fanatics will never want to cross off of their bucket list. No matter how many times you visit the Magic Kingdom, there is nothing as magical and beautiful as seeing the fireworks soar into the air over Cinderella’s castle. The trick, though, is to try and watch the fireworks in different areas of the park. One of my favorite places to watch the fireworks is while riding on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, seeing the fireworks burst as you ride in the wildest train ride in the wilderness. It’s also magical to sit in Adventureland, right beside the Magic Carpets of Aladdin, and see the fireworks from a totally different area of the park. No matter where you are, however, this is the absolute number one thing that all Disney fanatics should have on their bucket list.
In the end, no matter what you do at Disney, it’s important to remember that all of these experiences are important to do with the people you love. These bucket list items are all a blast, and if you can’t do them in one trip (which I highly doubt), don’t sweat it- it just means you get to come again and again!
Bonus Tip: Make sure you look into all the specifics about each of these events, such as height requirements, prices, dates, and specific times. It will make it so much easier on you when planning your trips!
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